Recognised bodies may receive complaints from time to time from their members and other people, both about the conduct of members and about the recognised body itself. A UK recognised body will need to have satisfactory arrangements to investigate these complaints in order to satisfy the relevant recognition requirements (see REC 2.15 and REC 2.16) or RAP recognition requirements (see REC 2A.3.2 G).1
The Act does not provide a mechanism for appeals to the FSA from decisions by recognised bodies in relation to complaints. However, the FSA is required by section 299 of the Act (Complaints about recognised bodies) to have arrangements to investigate complaints (called relevant complaints in the Act) which it considers relevant to the question of whether a recognised body should remain recognised as such. This section describes aspects of the FSA's arrangements for investigating relevant complaints.
Where the FSA receives a complaint about a recognised body, it will, in the first instance, seek to establish whether the complainant has approached the recognised body. Where this is not the case, the FSA will ask the complainant to complain to the recognised body. Where the complainant is dissatisfied with the handling of the complaint, but has not exhausted the recognised body's own internal complaints procedures (in the case of a complaint against a UK recognised body, including by applying to that body's complaints investigator), the FSA will encourage the complainant to do so.
When it is considering a relevant complaint, the FSA will make its own enquiries as appropriate with the recognised body, the complainant and other persons. It will usually ask the recognised body and the complainant to comment upon any preliminary or draft conclusions of its review and to confirm any matters of fact at that stage.